FIFA World Cup 2022: Costa Rica Team Analysis
Get a close insight into the estimated skills, achievements and functioning of the Costa Rica team in the FIFA World Cup.
Costa Rica appeared doomed in the final stage of Concacaf qualifying for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. After losing to Canada in 2021, Los Ticos seemed doomed. With a never-say-die attitude, they won six of their last seven matches to snag Panama’s intercontinental playoff spot.
Luis Fernando Suarez’s side then travelled to Qatar to face New Zealand in a winner-takes-all game, which they began with an early goal from Joel Campbell. Los Ticos held on to a slim lead to book a third straight World Cup spot. With a golden generation set for its last dance and a clutch of youngsters ready to take over, Costa Rica hopes to repeat its stunning Brazil 2014 campaign when they reached the quarterfinals before losing on penalties to the Netherlands.
Costa Rica’s Group E Matches:
|23 November||Costa Rica vs Spain||9;30 pm||Al Thumama Stadium|
|27 November||Costa Rica vs Japan||3:30 pm||Al Rayyan Stadium|
|1 December||Costa Rica vs Germany||12:30 pm||Al Bayt Stadium|
Luis Fernando Suarez’s Strategy and Method for the FIFA World Cup:
Colombian coach Jose Pekerman, 62, will coach at his third World Cup. Suarez produced a Costa Rican comeback in the second half of the Concacaf qualifiers for Qatar 2022. He led Ecuador to the last 16 at Germany in 2006 and Honduras to their third world finals in Brazil in 2014. When it looked like his term might fail, he made the right moves to ignite a late charge.
Suarez accomplished so by earning the veterans’ trust, uniting the dressing room, and betting on youth like Jewison Benette and Anthony Contreras, turning his team’s fortunes. Suarez has his players shout ‘Aita Mikilona’ as a gesture of unity before and after every game. “Together to the finish” is the team’s motto, borrowed from the Bribri language, spoken by one of the country’s main Indigenous communities. Suarez, a coach with an eye for detail, knows his favourite line-up and resurrected Costa Rica’s fortunes in qualifying with a system of four defenders, two holding midfielders, four offensive midfielders, and one striker.
Match Winning Player: Keylor Navas
Keylor Navas. Now 35, the goalie for Paris Saint-Germain is still the leader and star player for Los Ticos. If not for the team’s star player, they might not even be in the World Cup. Navas was amazing in the last part of CONCACAF qualifying when Costa Rica won six of its last seven games and shot up the standings. He also played well in the win over New Zealand in the intercontinental playoff, which got the team to Qatar. Gianluigi Donnarumma has started every league game for PSG this season, so Navas doesn’t get to play much for his club, but Navas always does well for his country. As a goalkeeper for a team that doesn’t score many goals, he will again be very important to Costa Rica’s chances of pulling off an upset.
Rising Star in the Field: Jewison Bennette
Bennette, 18, is another standout from Costa Rica’s upcoming generation. After impressing Herediano, the left winger joined Sunderland in the last transfer window. The winger showed what he could do in the intercontinental playoff against New Zealand, setting up the goal that sealed Costa Rica’s spot at Qatar 2022.
Bennette’s quickness and dribbling make him a handful for right-backs. Sunderland fans already admire his ability to find and exploit defensive gaps and create chances from nothing. When he has room on the counter, he’s an explosive and dynamic player. Bennette has room to improve, but he has what it takes to be a Qatar 2022 breakthrough star.